There are multiple reports in this morning’s papers that Alan Shearer will drop Michael Owen for the game at Anfield tomorrow.
Michael Owen – manager Shearer could drop hius captain
You cannot accuse Shearer of not being brave in his team selections, and he has already left Fabricio Coloccini out of his team, and until he was dropped, the Argentine had played in every minute of every game for Newcastle this season.
Shearer has since restored the Argentine to the starting line-up and Fabricio put in a very solid performance on Monday night, to his credit, and helped Newcastle keep only their third clean sheet this year against Pompey.
The news about dropping Owen is in The Sun, and we know they make things up to sell their papers, but it makes sense to drop Owen for the game tomorrow, simply because we expect Alan to play in a 4-5-1 formation in an attempt to contain Liverpool.
The lone man up front should probably be Mark Viduka, who can hold the play up well, and Owen could still play in a withdrawn role in midfield, behind Mark.
However Shearer has Joey Barton coming back, so we have a number of central midfielders available, and this could be the line up tomorrow:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Edgar
Duff (or Lovenkrands) Butt(c) Barton Smith Gutierrez
There’s no place there for either Martins or Owen, but we have to pack the midfield tomorrow, if we are to have any chance of any points. Both strikers could be used as subs depending on how the game goes.
We don’t know if Alan will axe his friend, but he will certainly not let any friendship get in the way of trying to save Newcastle, and if he thinks it’s best to pack the midfield and leave Owen out for this game – so be it.